Some of you may remember this from last year. You may also remember that we here in the northeast had such a rainy growing season that the growing hardly grew. my three little gooseberry bushes up and shed their leaves ’round about mid august – after first turning brown and shriveling unto themselves in soggy little masses.
I wasn’t sure if they would make it. but much to my delight, this spring the branches beheld tiny specks of neon-green that soon spread into riotous flames of leaves. the berries tho, are a bit sparse. such that even reserva is much too abundant a term for this year’s yield.
Golden seemed a fitting term – and so i took the literal approach: I picked ’em green –
jelly bag and strainer or fine meshed cheese cloth & colander, 1/2 pint or smaller mason jarsyield: approximately 1 t0 1 & 1/2 pintday 1
1. top & tail the gooseberries – a scissor is the easiest way. place in a non-reactive pan with 2 & 1/3 cup water & add the lavender flowers. bring to the boil & simmer for 10 minutes on low. at which point they should be quite soft. if they still look intact, mash them a bit with a spoon or fork.
2. while gooseberries & lavender are simmering, boil the jelly bag or cheese cloth for 10 minutes, squeeze out excess water and place on stand or in colander.
3. once gooseberries & lavender flowers have simmered for 10 minutes place them in the jelly bag with stand positioned over a bowl or in the cheesecloth-lined colander over a bowl. let drip overnight or 8 hours. note: no matter how tempting, do not press the bag or force through the colander or your golden jelly will be cloudy jelly.
1. prepare your canning pot and mason jars for hot water bath canning. boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize. place 2 0r 3 small plates in the freezer for use to test set later.
2. measure out the gooseberry juice that has accumulated overnight. for every cupful of juice add 3/4 cup of sugar. place sugar & juice in preserving pan and heat on medium low until all the sugar melts. then turn up the heat and bring to the boil. boil for 5-10 minutes until set is reached.
3. when you think it is sufficiently set, take the pan off the heat and drop a small spoonful on a frozen plate, put plate back in freezer and wait about 30 seconds. run your finger through the jelly, when it is sufficiently set it will wrinkle underneath your finger. mine took 5 minutes to reach the setting point as the gooseberries were truly green and full of pectin.
4. fill jars and hot water bath process for 5 minutes.